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Inspiration: Folk Tales & Stories

The Disappearance of Truth

The Disappearance of Truth

ONCE upon a time, ever so many years ago, Truth suddenly vanished from out of the world. When people perceived this, they were greatly alarmed and at once sent five wise men in search of Truth. They set out, one in this direction and one in that, all plentifully...

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Walnuts and Pumpkins

Walnuts and Pumpkins

Nasreddin Hodja was lying in the shade of an ancient walnut tree. His body was at rest, but, befitting his calling as an imam, his mind did not relax. Looking up into the mighty tree he considered the greatness and wisdom of Allah. "Allah is great and Allah is good,"...

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The Rabbi’s Journey

The Rabbi’s Journey

A wealthy merchant comes to the town where a Rabbi, famous for his wisdom, lives and he asks to be allowed to meet him. A meeting is arranged and the merchant is ushered into the Rabbi's house. When he looks around he is flabbergasted. "Where is your fine furniture?...

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The Flip of a Coin

The Flip of a Coin

During a momentous battle, a Japanese general decided to attack even though his army was greatly outnumbered. He was confident they would win, but his men were filled with doubt. On the way to the battle, they stopped at a religious shrine. After praying with the men,...

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The Lion Beaten by a Man

The Lion Beaten by a Man

A picture once was shown, In which one man, alone, Upon the ground had thrown A lion fully grown. Much gloried at the sight the rabble. A lion thus rebuked their babble:— That you have got the victory there, There is no contradiction. But, gentles, possibly you are...

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Parable of the Poisoned Arrow

Parable of the Poisoned Arrow

It is as if a man had been wounded by an arrow thickly smeared with poison, and his friends and kinsmen were to get a surgeon to heal him, and he were to say, I will not have this arrow pulled out until I know by what man I was wounded, whether he is of the warrior...

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Let’s (not) Talk About Cake

Let’s (not) Talk About Cake

A Korean Folk Tale Once upon a time an old man lived with his wife. One day, after he had held a service in memory of his ancestors, one of their neighbors sent them a present of some food. He sent them cooked rice and vegetables, but only one cake. They were...

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When love touches pain

When love touches pain

Once a young disciple came to his master and asked him, “Master, What is Compassion?” Master took him to the window and asked him to look at the beggar sitting at the corner of the street. While looking at him for some time they saw that an old lady passed by and gave...

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Buddha at the Gate

Buddha at the Gate

Buddha reached the gate of heaven. Of course, the people there were waiting. They opened the door, they welcomed him, but he turned his back towards the door looked at the world -- millions of souls on the same path, struggling, in misery, in anguish, striving to...

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Judging Others

Judging Others

A brother committed a fault. A council was called to which Abba Moses was invited, but he refused to attend. Then the superior sent someone to say to him, "Come, for everyone is waiting for you." So Abba Moses got up and went. He took a leaking jug, filled it with...

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The Rat and the Cat

The Rat and the Cat

Sitting on the altar, "They're burning incense to me," Boasted the rat to all his assembled family. As the rat grew giddy from excess of incense smoke, A cat lunged in, seized him, and dispatched him at a stroke. From Fables and Parables (1779) by Ignacy Krasicki,...

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The Stream and the River

The Stream and the River

The stream, flowing with a clamor from the mountain top, Laughed at the river as it quietly flowed nonstop. Water ran short at the mountain when the snows did melt, Until at last the stream became only a streamlet. What is worse, what had started out with a hue and...

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The Elephant and the Bee

The Elephant and the Bee

The weak, if they be wise, take not umbrage at the strong! A bee, confident in the grievousness of her sting, Approached an elephant as he grazed in the meadow And paid no attention to his wee apian fellow. Bee resolved to chastise him and proceeded to sting. What...

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The Lump of Ice and the Crystal

The Lump of Ice and the Crystal

Begotten of a muddy puddle, a lump of ice Resented a crystal's transparence and in a trice Started praying to the sun. The sun began to shine, The lump of ice glistered but proceeded to decline; Thus, keen to mend its lot with inopportune trouble, The lump melted away...

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How Two Roads Overcame the Hyena

How Two Roads Overcame the Hyena

A very hungry hyena went out on the Tanzanian plains to hunt for food. He came to a branch in the bush road where the two paths veered off in different directions. He saw two goats caught in the thickets at the far end of the two different paths. With his mouth...

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The Ingratitude of Man

The Ingratitude of Man

Whatever you have promised make it not as changeable as a loop in a string, but as firm as a line on a rock. Tibetan Proverb. ONCE upon a time in a far, far away land, in a very high, high land, when the old world was very, very young and animals and men spoke and...

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Cow-giving and Pig-giving

Cow-giving and Pig-giving

A rich man complained to his friend: "People don't like me. They say I'm selfish and stingy. And yet in my last will and testament I have donated all that I own to charitable causes." His friend said: "Well,maybe the story of the cow and the pig has a lesson for you."...

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The Pardon

The Pardon

A herd of camels happened to be passing an orchard, the owner of which was seated upon the "sinsileh" or rough stone fence. One of the animals, a very fine male, caught hold of the overhanging bough of a fruit tree and broke it off with his teeth. Hereupon the owner...

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The Weight of a Sack of Dirt

The Weight of a Sack of Dirt

The Kâdi "‘Abdallah el Mustakìm," some whose descendants are said to reside at Jaffa at the present day, lived at Baghdad, during the reign of El Mansûr, one of the Caliphs of the dynasty of "Abbâs"; and is alleged to have obtained his honorable surname, which means...

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